I'm a little obsessed with truly wireless earbuds right now. Here's what I've learned after testing a variety of inexpensive, off-brand products:
- Smaller is not necessarily better. The tinier they get, the worse battery life is likely to be. They're also harder to get in and out of your ears (and, often, the case as well).
- Avoid the ones with touch controls. It's way too easy to graze those buttons by accident, especially when putting them in and taking them out. Then you find yourself with unwanted results -- like accidentally ending up back in pairing mode.
- Insist on autoconnectivity, meaning the earbuds pair with each other and your phone the moment you take them out of their case.
It should come as no surprise that today's deal -- which I've shared several times before, but is the cheapest it's ever been -- ticks all those boxes.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, the BlitzWolf BW-FYE1 wire-free earbuds are $32.99 shipped when you apply promo code CNETBWFYE1. That's $17 off the regular price and a whole dollar below last time! 😂
I use these primarily for listening to podcasts while walking the dog and to music while working at my desk or around the house. For me they're a perfect fit: easy into the ears, easy out. (Don't expect a fully noise-isolating seal like you get from some in-ear headphones. Consequently, don't expect super-deep bass, either.)
I bought a second pair for Mrs. Cheapskate over the holidays. She likes them, too, in large part because they're so easy to use. I can't overstate the wonderfulness of "open the box, take out the earbuds, start listening." And, similarly, "put the earbuds back in the box, close box, done."
On my recommendation, my buddy Doug also bought a pair and likes them a lot, though he notes that when he runs without a hat on (yeah, he runs in the winter -- crazy!), they tend to fall out of his ears.
My buddy Craig bought a pair and doesn't like them, though his primary goal was to use them during conference calls -- and listeners said he sounded tinny. However, we just got on a call together -- me with my earbuds in and him with his -- and we both sounded "very good" to each other. It might have been that he was in a noisy place during his business call, and the BlitzWolf's microphone does a bad job of canceling noise.
Bottom line: I love these. I can wear them comfortably for long stretches, and I find the audio quality to be very good overall. They're a snap to use, and they're $33. I think before you spend $100 to $200 on something from Apple, Bose or Jabra, you owe it to yourself to try these first.
Agree? Disagree? You know the drill.
Read more: The best truly wireless headphones
Originally published Jan. 16.
Update, May 28: Back in stock.
CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our . Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!